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Last Updated : Apr 08, 2019 10:17 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Single screens say yes to survival, no to hike in movie ticket prices in Karnataka

The exhibitors have now taken a stand of not increasing ticket prices – not only for Kannada films, but also for other language films.

Maryam Farooqui @farooqui_maryam

While exhibitors and producers are at loggerheads in Karnataka over movie ticket prices, it may spell good news for the audience. That is because single screen owners have made their mind on doing away with any hike in ticket prices that comes along with big star films.

It all started when Kannada films like The Villain and Yash-starrer KGF were priced higher – in the range of Rs 200-250 – as the filmmakers wanted to recover the high cost invested in producing the film. While The Villain was made at a budget of Rs 45 crore, KGF is touted as the biggest film of the Kannada film industry, seeing an investment of Rs 80 crore.

Producers of the two films set high ticket prices in a bid to regain the investment in a short span. On the other, single screen owners faced flak from the movie-goers for the rise in ticket prices.

The exhibitors have now taken a stand of not increasing ticket prices – not only for Kannada films, but also for other language films.

At the time of hiking prices, producers had said that the surge is minimal and that audiences don’t mind spending Rs 700-Rs 800 for Hollywood, Bollywood, Tamil and Telugu films. However, a trade expert, on condition of anonymity, said,  "If you are going to increase ticket rates in Bengaluru, you are not going to get that audience. Maybe for a KGF, it will work but for other films, it won’t. Besides, Bengaluru screens have the lowest occupancy in India. In Chennai, the audience is higher. While in Bengaluru, ticket prices are around Rs 150, in Chennai it is Rs 100.”

Single screen owners have informed The Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce (KFCC) of their resolution to not go for a surge in pricing and expect a response from the producers. In case of no response, the exhibitors will issue a statement soon.

According to the expert, for single screens, this is the only way to survive because they are very limited outside of Bengaluru. “In Bengaluru, almost 90-95 percent are multiplexes. Single screens are only there in smaller towns in Karnataka,” he added.

Single screens in Karnataka are also looking at a revenue-sharing system and have given their proposals for the same. These proposals will be discussed at a meeting organised by KFCC on April 10.

“While multiplexes have a 50-50 revenue sharing system with the producers, for single screens it is in the range of 55-60 percent in the first week and it subsequently drops down to five percent in the following weeks,” said the expert.

He also added that the whole scenario is skewed because of multiplexes coming in and single screens getting eroded. Currently, there are 868 single screens across Karnataka of which only 500 are still functioning, according to a report.

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First Published on Apr 8, 2019 10:17 pm
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